Hospitals' Behavior in a Tort Crisis

Observations from Pennsylvania; Bringing Physicians Under Hospitals' Liability Umbrella Could Open the Door to Even Broader Reforms in Medical Malpractice Policy

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 22, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 2003, p. 225-233

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Michelle M Mello, Carly N Kelly, David M. Studdert, Troyen A Brennan, William M. Sage

Read More

Access further information on this document at Project HOPE

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Pennsylvania, like many states around the country, is in the throes of a tort crisis. The cost of professional liability insurance for physicians and hospitals is escalating rapidly, as its availability shrinks. Many hospitals are poorly situated to bear these rising costs, especially in an environment of flat reimbursement rates and poor investment returns. This paper examines the impact of the liability crisis on Pennsylvania hospitals and the strategies being used to weather the storm, including alternative risk financing and closer ties between hospitals and affiliated physicians. It concludes by connecting these trends to larger medical malpractice policy issues.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.